Dept to intervene in Bara problems

2012-02-08 19:21

Johannesburg - The government will step in to help end problems at Gauteng's Chris Hani-Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said on Wednesday.

He told the SABC his department would help the hospital handle its budget in the coming financial year.

"We won't allow them to do it alone... [We are going to intervene] so that the money is directed to essential things rather than the things that have been happening for the past five years."

Earlier on Wednesday, health spokesperson Fidel Hadebe said serious problems plagued the hospital.

This was why members from the SA National Defence Force had been deployed a few weeks ago to help out at the hospital,"

Hadebe was responding to reports that staff shortages and overcrowding led to two avoidable infant deaths in the first two weeks of January alone.

Doctors reported brain damage in babies who were born asphyxiated and had not received treatment in time.

Unhygienic conditions in the maternity wards, including maggots in the blood-soaked bedding, were also reported.

In early November, the problem was exacerbated by the non-payment of Khalipha Agency, which supplied additional nurses to the hospital. The agency was paid in late December.

Hospital chief executive Johanna More reportedly said she was unaware of these cases and denied they were linked to staff shortages.

"Where were [the doctors] when these babies were dying? Where are these consultants? Spending time in conferences."

Another one of the problems facing the hospital was that surrounding clinics were not functioning properly "and so people flock to Chris Hani", she said.

Both Hadebe and Gauteng health spokeperson Simon Zwane said there was a national shortage of midwives.

Zwane said a number of midwives had been recruited, who would begin working at the hospital next month.

Democratic Alliance spokesperson Jack Bloom said conditions at the hospital would lead to "an avalanche of medical negligence claims" which would drain the health budget.

The provincial health department recently paid the first of three instalments to Prince Sibusiso Khanyi's parents after losing a negligence suit.

Khanyi was brain damaged through staff negligence at his birth in December 1999. The High Court in Johannesburg ruled they be paid R9.25m in damages.

Zwane said: "There are plans in place that will ensure that doesn't happen [again]."

  • Whitty - 2012-02-08 19:42

    Just find out if the CEO has matric, you will be shocked to hear that you do not necessarily need matric to become a CEO.Shocking and uncalled for. AND this time leave apartheid alone,blame it on your greed and stupidity.

  • Robbie - 2012-02-08 19:47

    It's the DEPARTMENT that is the problem .... sack the lot! What happened to employing competent people .... Oooohhh thats right ... not in the new SA! Colour before anything else ...

  • Grant - 2012-02-08 20:25

    Welcome to it out

  • Cracker - 2012-02-08 20:29

    But we all thought that the government is in any event running the hospital. What have we overlooked? The lies, diversions and excuses must surely run out?

  • Tarryn - 2012-02-08 20:30

    Can somebody please do the same and intervence at kalafong hospital where the laboratory is apparently closing down as they weren't paid by the government. Another crisis......

  • Carol - 2012-02-08 20:34

    This was one of the best hospitals in Africa and what has happened, greed, corruption and total unmanageable people that do not know what the hell they are doing, they are never prepared to accept the responsibility because they are incapable of doing this!!!!

  • Mantsho - 2012-02-08 20:35

    Surerly someone must be responsible for all this crisis, somebody must be fired, This ANC cannot govern at all.

  • Scouter - 2012-02-08 20:43

    "The High Court in Johannesburg ruled they be paid R9.25m in damages. Zwane said: "There are plans in place that will ensure that doesn't happen." Nothing new here - the Government seems to make a habit of ignoring court rulings when it comes to paying damages! (do the News24 reporters actually read what they have written?)

      alansmartSnr - 2012-02-08 21:45

      There is only one solution and it will take the ANC and Cosatu a few more years to wake up. Get rid of this BE and other hurdles like the illogical tight labour laws. Unemployment will be something of the past if labour demand and supply follow the economic fact of Liassez Faire. But what would a grade 5 President or his following know about that.

  • Cracker - 2012-02-08 21:16

    One can only...what? We as the citizens of this country do not enjoy and (given the astronomical rise in premiums) are not able to afford private medical care. But what does the government AND the COSATU trade unions do about it? They add to and, in the case of Cosatu, encourage bad and deadly hospital practices. Facts are facts. Uselessness and self-interest have never had it so good. ANYBODY, including the minister or health or Cosatu's spectacled big wig, care to comment? They, in case it is not known, enjoy private medical aid coverage and that is how it will continue to be. The people of South Africa surely deserve better.

  • march54 - 2012-02-08 21:31

    Too many nursing posts in provincial hospitals frozen. Rely on agency staff(who in general are full time employees elsewhere earning extra money to keep their one salary home afloat) do not pay agency, staff do not get paid - no pay, no work. More posts opened in administration and procurement. Spruce up admin offices, leave public areas to decay. Close wards, theatres, clinics, Nursing Colleges. Delays upon delays in supplies, staff. Incompetent cleaning staff, poor food services and the down ward spiral accelerates. Because some one has the title Doctor does not automatically mean they are suitable to manage a hospital.

  • nkadimeng - 2012-02-09 06:03

    Is this the reason why Jack Bloom was barred from the hospital about middle last year? was this the case because you were you hiding your evil deeds? Minister Aaron, all you do is, but fuc*k all is ever done. It doesn't really help much for you being reactive to the situation, the damage has already being done, many children have already being deprived the normal life as we know it. Get your priorities right minister, and stop fuc*king around

  • Guy - 2012-02-09 07:08

    Its not just Bara, I was at Yusuf Dadoo, in Krugersdorp , the place is septic, a breeding ground for staf infections, the staff, including doctors do the bare minimal to give the illusion the place is running. I was so disgusted at how the public health system had declined to the standards of a bush clinic. The common denominator was the AA position holders working there, and to think they want to impose National Health system, its a joke if they cant even run a small hospital.

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